Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Clouding Your Mind: Marketing and Cloud Computing

Posted in Business, Computer, Guest posts, Internet, IT by Sherpa Hossainy on August 13, 2011

This is a blog post on cloud computing by James Kim,  who wrote this article as a guest writer for my blog:

From tech magazines to business blogs, it seems like all we hear nowadays is “cloud” this and “cloud” that. Newscasters, journalists, bloggers, and marketing pros have stretched the term to the point where it’s, well, nebulous. Everything from online fax services to data storage has evolved out of cloud computing technology. But, how is this technological advancement changing marketing? And how will it influence your world?

What is “the Cloud?”

In a cloud computing system, the network of computers performs what would normally be performed by individual, local computers in an on-premise installation. In its simplest terms, the Cloud is the internet. Cloud computing can be defined as web services for the users on the internet, or the cloud. Many people discuss cloud computing in terms of front end and back end. The front end is what we can see: the interface, the side of the computer client. The Web 1.0 internet revolution allowed everyone to access the front end of the cloud by using a standard client application. The back end houses the different layers of the software stack that composite the cloud. Now, in the Web 2.0 boom, we see increased communication between applications on the back end.

The Cloud in Marketing and Sales

There are tons of ways that companies are using this increased back end communication, or “application interoperability,” to tap into social networks and improve Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

-Real time, in process analytics have made it possible for companies to analyze and predict customer behavior.  It is now easy and inexpensive for business to examine customer behavior at every stage of the product: from design to consumer response. Through cloud applications, we can better pinpoint customer dissatisfaction and take corrective action.

-A company can also utilize the increased application interoperability by taking advantage of SaaS (software-as-a-service) application marketing. Under the SaaS model, a company can add a new social media channel or feed to an application and make it available to customers on-demand.

-It is now becoming easier and easier for a company to achieve mass customization. Each customer is assigned a unique ID so that web services can be tailored to that individual.

While discussion of the Cloud may seem foreign, inconsistent, and obnoxiously over-generalized, it is crutial to understand this technology to stay ahead of the curve. This technological shift will soon inform nearly all aspects of a business, from CRM to in-house organization. Once you’re familiar with the basics, you can increase efficiency and better understand your customer.

[James Kim is a writer for Choosewhat.com, which provides product reviews and test data for business services and products. Choosewhat.com’s goal is to help small companies make informed buying decisions on business solutions that help their business.]

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